Middle school time capsule opened

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL

Artifacts from a time capsule from 1918 were revealed at Washington Middle School Tuesday afternoon at an assembly that students, staff and members of the public attended.

Washington Middle School principal Curt Mayer said Washington Middle School is celebrating attending school in a 100-year-old building this year.

He said retired teacher Mike Kramme and current teacher Angie Shrader researched where the time capsule could be found. They found an article that said it was in the southeast corner, but the capstone was actually located in the northeast corner.

?So we searched everything,? Mayer added.

They searched timelines and finally decided to take a chance and look in the capstone in the northeast corner, he added. When the time capsule was placed in there all sides were solid, so they couldn?t easily see if the time capsule was there.

?When we were taking it out we noticed that the bottom was a metal case,? Mayer said.

The time capsule was made from copper and soldered together, he added.

Once it was found, the school asked Michael Zahs and Kramme to reveal the contents inside the time capsule at the assembly.

Kramme told everyone there are many public buildings that have capstones in Washington, such as the post office and most of the churches. Sometimes they?re just dating when the building was built. Other times there are time capsules in them, such as the one at the middle school.

?We are lucky that this is a whole cornerstone or a whole box there,? Kramme said, ?but none of it has seen the light of day for over 100 years.?

Kramme asked students if they were to put something in a time capsule today what it would be? One student said a cellphone and another said money.

Finally it was time to reveal the items inside the time capsule. There were several items including coins from 1918, a guide of the school district from 1917 -1918, courses students would study in 1918, several newspapers including a copy of The Washington Democrat and The Washington Evening Journal that had articles about WWI; a picture of July 3, 1918, showing people volunteering in war efforts in town; a handbook for attending Washington schools and a few other items.

?The next step will be a way to display this to keep their integrity together,? Mayer said. ?I know that I have some of those coins in the time capsule, so it?s very impressive for me to see that.?

Also, the history and the culture of that time period was something Mayer said he was happy to learn about since they are celebrating having school in a 100-year-old building and wanted to share it with everyone at the assembly Tuesday.